Category Archives: Africa Podcast – Briefs

Africa Talks or the multiple challenges of Africa in 2023

Mazars organized on Thursday, May 4, 2023 in Casablanca, the 4th edition of Africa Talks. Many leaders and decision makers of the continent attended the event. Africa Talks or the multiple challenges of Africa in 2023:

Africa Talks or the multiple challenges of Africa in 2023

2023 is a year full of uncertainties because of the multiple crises that spare no country. Better still, with the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the US-China dispute over Taiwan, the overtaking, at the end of 2022, of the wealth created by the G7 group by the five Brics countries, and the strong trend towards an upheaval of the world economic order, leading some to speak of “plate tectonics” to allude to the strong trend that should lead to the formation of new political and economic blocs, the political and economic stakes for African countries are enormous.

It is in this context that the theme of the 4th edition of Africa Talks, held in Casablanca on Thursday, May 4, was: “2023, a year full of economic and political challenges”. From the outset, Abdou Diop, Managing Partner of Mazars in Morocco, explains that through this annual meeting, Mazar “wants to take an anticipatory look at the major issues that will be the focus of the year on the continent. And for this year, the crisis in Ukraine, US-China tensions, terrorism and political crises in Africa, rising interest rates, high inflation, liquidity crises, debt, the impact of climate change on the economy and the operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) are some of the issues that African countries will face as a whole.

African countries should pool their efforts

Faced with these challenges, Chakib Alj, President of the General Confederation of Moroccan Business (CGEM), returned to the problem of the transformation of African economies which makes that the value added of African economies represents barely 1.8% of that of the planet. However, with its enormous potential, the continent can meet the challenge of industrialization, vital to absorb the 10 to 12 million young people who arrive annually on the labor market for a job offer not exceeding 3 million per year.

For the boss of Moroccan employers, African countries must pool their efforts to create supply chains, processing units, boosting the Zlecaf … Only, for Chakib Alj, Africa can not win the bet of transformation while the continent has a huge deficit in electricity. What is more an aberration, the continent holding the greatest natural potential for energy production in the world. In terms of renewable energy alone, Africa has a potential of 60 million terawatts (TW), compared to 30 million for Asia and only 3 million for Europe. Of this potential, only a tiny part is currently exploited.

Beyond that, African countries must invest massively in infrastructure, agriculture, health, education…

Security in Africa remains a major concern that hinders the continent’s development

Current issues in Africa 2023

However, in order to make significant economic progress, security and safety must be present. Unfortunately, this is far from being the case in Africa today. Everywhere, insecurity is gaining ground, deplores Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Senegal and President of the Pan African Institute of Strategies (IPS).

In addition to the Sahel countries (Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad), jihadist terrorism is wreaking havoc in Nigeria, where Boko Haram has claimed more than 40,000 victims, in Cameroon, in the DR Congo… From now on, the nebula is looking for any means to take over a coastal country, hence the attempts to extend terrorist attacks to Ghana, Togo, Mozambique, the Ivory Coast…

A situation that leads the former head of Senegalese diplomacy to ask Africans to ask themselves questions: “who finances these jihadists, who wants to move the capital of the Islamic Khalifa in Africa” and “why Africans do not take the security issue as a priority” by setting up a strong African force able to fight terrorists in countries where they want to establish their Khalifa.

The problem is that “the executives and political elites of African countries have decided to resign, leaving the place to an inflation of political actors” little concerned with the political and economic issues of the continent. And in the face of the terrorist threat, “African countries must take the destiny of Africa together to face this existential risk of African states,” explains Paulo Fernando Gomes, former presidential candidate of Guinea-Bissau, co-founder of New African Capital Partners and president of Orango Investment Corporation. This is all the more true since “the technology of the plates may have impacts in Africa”, knowing that “Africa is very dependent on China in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI), import of raw materials …”.

For the emergence of Africa

In any case, in the face of the current heavy trends that the world is facing, including particularly “the emergence of the global south” (Brics, Africa …), as pointed out by the former Minister of Economy and Finance and former boss of Moroccan employers Salaheddine Mezouar, Africa does not intend to be a simple follower. The continent aspires to more freedom in its choices, putting forward its own interests. The Russia-Ukraine war has clearly demonstrated this. As a result, “the African voice is being heard”.

However, in order for this voice to be more audible and to defend the interests of the continent, it is urgent that a reform of the Security Council be carried out to give Africa and its 1.3 billion inhabitants a permanent seat.

Despite the many obstacles, the fact remains that the economic outlook for Africa is good. Xavier Reille, director for the Maghreb and Djibouti at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, highlights some interesting trends. First, there is the rise in power of African multinationals. While these champions were previously confined to two key sectors – telecoms and banking – African multinationals are now present in many sectors: agriculture, services, NICTs…

Africa Talks or the multiple challenges of Africa in 2023

The geography of these African champions is diversifying. Then there is the significant development of African startup ecosystems, led by young people from the continent, and which are innovative. South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria and Kenya dominate this sector, but experts redorded a lot of talent and innovation in many countries.

Current events about africa

This means that Africa must focus on education by investing massively in engineering schools to provide the continent with quality human resources and to ensure a better training-job match.

However, the impacts of climate change that affects particularly the countries of North Africa with water stress, climate risks … could impact the good economic prospects in Africa, according to Reille, by A situation that must push countries to better use of water resources by agriculture and industry.

In short, after the crises of Covid-19 and Russia-Ukraine, against which the continent has shown strong resilience, for 2023, the political and economic stakes are enormous. And it is up to Africans to transform the many challenges into opportunities. And it is possible.

Inflation in Africa: 10 most affected countries (podcast)

The end of the Covid-19 crisis and the war in Ukraine, in addition to endogenous factors, have created a serious inflation crisis. This podcast briefly analyzes the situation of the 10 most impacted African countries. Inflation in Africa: 10 most affected countries (podcast):

Inflation has become the obsession of all the economies of the world. Africa is no exception. The inflation rate in some countries is close to 100% in the first two months of 2023.

Entitled “Africa’s Macroeconomic Performance and Prospects 2023,” a recent AfDB report indicates, however, that the continent’s medium-term growth prospects are subject to significant constraints, including a sharp slowdown in the global economy, persistent inflation, prolonged tightening of global financial conditions, high cost of capital, depreciations of national currencies, declining financial flows, continued climate-related losses and damages, geopolitical tensions, and a further escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The AfDB also noted that inflation in Africa is expected to rise from an average of 13.8% in 2022 to 13.5% in 2023, before falling to 8.8% in 2024, below the 9.1% recorded prior to the coronavirus outbreak in 2019 and the 9.6% average recorded between 2014 and 2018.

At the regional level, inflation will remain high in East Africa due to persistent supply constraints, the impact of climate change, conflicts, and political uncertainty affecting some countries in the region.

Central Africa will experience relatively stable and low inflation, projected at 5.7 percent in 2023, partly reflecting coordinated monetary policies and the relative advantages of a stable regional currency.

Here are the African countries most affected by inflation at the beginning of 2023:

  • Malawi: 25,9%
  • Burundi: 28,6%
  • Rwanda: 30,3%
  • South-Sudan: 30,7%
  • Egypt: 31,9%
  • Ethiopia: 32%
  • Sierra-Leone: 38,48%
  • Ghana: 54,1%
  • Sudan: 83,6%
  • Zimbabwe: 92,8%

Inflation in Africa: 10 most affected countries (podcast):

The most important since 2011- Drought threatens famine in the Horn of Africa – Are there solutions?

The threat of food shortage afflicts millions of people in different parts of Africa, the Horn of Africa in the lead, especially with the continuation of the severe drought that has hit the country in these regions in recent months, and the growing warnings of the possibility of worsening food security risks and the possibility of an epidemic of diseases related to water shortage and malnutrition. The most important since 2011- Drought threatens famine in the Horn of Africa – Are there solutions?

The most important since 2011- Drought threatens famine in the Horn of Africa – Are there solutions?

The latest of these warnings is the report released by the African Climate Prediction and Applications Center, which confirmed that the drought in the Horn of Africa has surpassed that of the region in 2011, killing thousands.

Less rain than usual

The threat of food shortage afflicts millions of people in different parts of Africa, the Horn of Africa in the lead, especially with the continuation of the severe drought that has hit the country in these regions in recent months, and the growing warnings of the possibility of worsening food security risks and the possibility of an epidemic of diseases related to water shortage and malnutrition.

The climate change that the whole world is experiencing, and at the heart of it the African continent, and whose effects have recently become more pronounced, is a determining factor in the hunger crisis that threatens the African people, alongside epidemic crises, tribal conflicts and successive waves of terrorism.

In its report released late last week, the IGAD-affiliated center predicted that the rainy season over the next (3) months will experience below normal rainfall with rising temperatures.

Rainfall during the rainy season contributes a significant percentage of up to 60 percent of total rainfall throughout the year in the GHA region, which includes Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, parts of Kenya, Sudan, and South Sudan. and Uganda, and sometimes the term includes Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania.

“In parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda, which have recently been severely affected by drought, this could be the sixth consecutive rainy season,” the report released by the center said.

More than a million Somalis have fled the drought

And on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that about 1.3 million Somalis, 80 percent of them women and children, have been forced to leave their homes for other regions to escape the drought in recent months.

He added that if Somalia had not yet reached the stage of famine, then (8.3) million Somalis; More than half of the population of this country needs humanitarian assistance this year.

For his part, Workneh Gebeyehu, executive secretary general of IGAD, called for urgent international mobilization to address the worsening drought, “so that we do not have regrets when it is too late.

International support to avert disaster

In the middle of last week, Guterres announced the largest-ever allocation from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund of $250 million to fight famine and address underfunded emergencies in 19 countries, including 12 African countries. .

The 19 countries also include a number of Arab countries. They are Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and Lebanon, according to the United Nations website.

This number includes (8) countries in which there are (20) million people within one step of famine, namely: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Haiti, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

The impact of the crises in the Horn of Africa

Professor of Political Economy Karim El-Omda believes that Africa has been experiencing in recent years a number of crises that are worsening and have all led to major economic and social crises, foremost among which are the lack of food, medicine and basic needs. terrorism, as well as external interventions that drain state resources.

In his statement, the mayor refers to the repercussions of the Ukrainian crisis also on the African continent. Where the war in Ukraine has deprived several African regions of food support provided by the United Nations following the disruption of Ukrainian ports in the transport of grain for several months, before letting them through under an agreement signed between the UN and the Russian and Ukrainian authorities in the middle of last year, but it has been stopped several times as a result of political and military quarrels between Moscow and Kiev.

The most important since 2011- Drought threatens famine in the Horn of Africa – Are there solutions?

The mayor says: In addition to the drought crisis caused by severe climate change in these parts of the African continent, tribal conflicts and terrorism have also led to a significant reduction in the area of agricultural land in recent years, as large areas of Africa have repeatedly witnessed deliberate sabotage by some armed groups; this has affected agriculture and other small-scale projects associated with it, such as livestock breeding.

External interference in the African region, which has become an open space of conflict between Russia on the one hand and the European Union and the United States on the other, is depleting the bulk of the resources of the African continent and undermining any attempt to invest these resources for the benefit of the local population.


The most important since 2011- Drought threatens famine in the Horn of Africa – Are there solutions?

The mayor believes that the solutions must be radical, addressing the environment of conflict and tension, supporting sustainable development and infrastructure projects and long-term investments, as well as strengthening counterterrorism efforts and working to boost countries’ energies to support a stronger economy.

The director of the African Migration Observatory, Namira Negm, had called on the industrialized countries that are responsible for the increase in global emissions leading to violent climate change to take responsibility for Africa, which is afflicted by floods, drought and coastal erosion. This is the only way they can maintain global security.

Najm said in his speech at the symposium “Border Movement: The Geopolitics of Climate Migration” on climate challenges in Africa at the Munich Conference on International Security in Germany last Monday: “If the North is truly committed to solving the problems that will lead to security threats, then real development projects must be directed to the South.

The director of the African Migration Observatory, a research platform based in Morocco, listed the support and investment modalities that must be provided to Africa, including the creation of employment opportunities with projects compatible with climate change, and assistance in the dissemination of weather forecasting technologies. so that the countries of the continent can develop plans to reduce losses.

Economy in Africa in 2023: Things to watch out for

Economy in Africa in 2023: Things to watch out for. Africa’s economic recovery has been disrupted in 2022 by a range of internal and external shocks—including adverse weather conditions, rapidly rising rates of inflation, higher borrowing costs and softer demand in major export markets. Some of these factors will subdue growth prospects in the year ahead, but the region overall is expected to hold steady rather than suffer a major downturn in economic growth—both North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa are forecast to grow by 3.2% in 2023. We expect almost all countries in Africa to continue to grow, although real GDP growth rates will vary considerably across the region and some states will stagnate and teeter on the brink of recession.

Economy in Africa in 2023: Things to watch out for

African economies will face turbulent times in 2023 as a range of internal and external shocks undermine the region’s growth prospects and threaten stability, but most of the region will weather the storm and continue to grow.

Resource-intensive economies and major commodity exporters will face challenging market conditions amid a global economic slowdown, but the outlook is far from gloomy as export prices remain reasonably high and competition remains intense for Africa’s resources.

Domestic price pressures will remain elevated—although inflation will ease back from the highs of 2022—and monetary policy will tighten across much of Africa, while the cost of international capital will rise substantially for some economies.

Major concerns surround the heavy burden of debt servicing, instability created by election cycles, geopolitics and war, as well as the lingering threat of food insecurity caused by conflict and adverse weather conditions.

Heavyweights remain stuck in slow-growth mode.

Crucially, regional heavyweights will remain stuck in slow-growth mode, amid more challenging domestic and external economic conditions.

South Africa will grow by just 1.5% in 2023 as higher interest rates, power supply issues and weak demand weigh on domestic and export-oriented business activity.

The country could easily enter a technical recession—two consecutive quarters of negative real GDP growth—in 2023. Similar conditions will hamper
growth in Nigeria, although the economy will benefit from resilient commodities trade and dynamic consumer goods and services markets in major cities, pushing growth to 3.1% in 2023.

Egypt will post growth of just under 3%, which will be less than half of that recorded in 2022,
with the economy propped up as interest rates rise by a positive external contribution as real
exports are supported by devaluation of the pound and liquefied natural gas (LNG) sales to
energy-strapped Europe. Kenya is recovering from the uncertainties of national elections held
in August 2022 and will be the fastest-growing major economy in Africa during 2023, posting
real GDP growth in the region of 5%.

Keyword: Africa, 2023, economy, digital, conflict.